Deadline reported yesterday that it would appear that Peter Jackson, New Line and Warner Bros are now seriously considering adding a third film to The Hobbit franchise. For those interested here is a link to the article.
Naturally when this piece of news broke the internet exploded. I’ve seen comments on a few of sites bemoaning Jackson, New Line and Warners for “cashing in” on the success of the three Lord Of The Rings films (NOTE: of course they’re cashing in, they wouldn’t be making them if the first three hadn’t been a success!), and of “bloating a short book” into first two and now possibly three films. A lot of comparisons have been made with another set of prequels that basically pooped all over accepted mythology and turned their director into a byword for tat.
On a personal note I welcome this news, hell I’d watch a dozen films provided they were done correctly, and done by the same crew and production company.
But I’m not here to talk about that, I’m here to talk about peoples seeming inability to read something in its entirety before making snap judgments and running off to Facebook or Twitter to announce their thoughts to the world. Now I’m assuming by now you’ve been and read the article in the link above – if you haven’t then please do – so can anyone guess why I’m grinding my axe?
It is clearly stated in the article the reasons behind the possible third film, anyone who’s read Tolkien will know that there is a mine of off the page action that was cut, or thought of after that never made it into the finished books. Anyone that knows anything about Tolkien will know that he intended – at some point but unfortunately never got round to it – to re-visit The Hobbit and (to use a modern term) re-image it, adding in all the stuff he left out first time round. It is because of this extra material that when Jackson came to make the film, he knew he would need to do it over two, as it wouldn’t fit into one.
Jackson has the rights to The Hobbit and the 125 odd pages of appendices that appear at the end of Return Of The King. That is what he is filming, he’s not just filming “a short book”, he is filling in the blank spaces (like where did Gandalf go for two or three chapters and what was he up to) so what appears on screen is nearer to what Tolkien intended – albeit after he’d originally written the books and finished Lord Of The Rings some 16 years later.
The third film will cover some of this missing material, it will also possible fill in the gaps (some 70+ years) between the end of The Hobbit and the start of Fellowship Of The Ring. The end product will be one long story, starting with The Hobbit and ending with Return Of The King. All filmed in the same way, all with the same production values, and in some parts, all with the same cast.
Now all of this can be taken from what Peter Jackson says in the linked to article above.
But a lot of people, those that don’t read what’s in front of them, have only seen the headline and are knee-jerking all over the internet making a lot of noise for nothing.